For more information about helpful advice for successful articling applications — no matter which firm you choose — visit our Student Blog.
How to Prepare an Effective Application
- Be Letter Perfect: Do not submit an application, cover letter or CV that contains a single typo or poor grammar choice. Law firm HR personnel sort through hundreds of applications a day and they’re looking for any reason to reduce their pile of paper. Don’t give them an excuse to throw out your file because you didn’t thoroughly proofread before sending — or worse, forgot to replace the name of the previous firm to which you applied.
- Hit Your Target: Make sure your cover letter and application are addressed to the exact person responsible for receiving these materials at the firm. Misdirected applications might simply get delayed by re-routing; but it’s equally likely they’ll simply be thrown out by a busy partner. Get the right person’s name from the firm’s website.
- Be Yourself. Yes, it’s a cliché. It also happens to be true. We want to get a feel for who you are when we read your application, because your personality will be at least as important as your academic and workplace achievements when deciding if we want to work with you. Will you complement our standards and values? To answer that question, get to know our firm through our website.
How to Interview Effectively
- Get to Know Your Interviewers. When we schedule an articling interview with you, we’ll also tell you the lawyers with whom you’ll be meeting. Go to their biography pages and get to know them: the work they do, the clients they serve, the community groups with which they’re active.
- Be Fully Informed About The Firm. We know you’re interviewing with several firms and we’re fine with that. What we require is that you’ve done serious homework about Harrison Pensa before you arrive. We expect you to know our history, our primary practice areas, and the sorts of clients we serve. Know this information and ask questions to learn more.
- Be Ready to Answer Questions.We need to learn as much as we can about you in a short space of time. We already know your background and qualifications from your CV and they’re attractive enough that we’ve made time to speak with you. Now we want to learn about you, your interests and your motivations. Be ready to answer questions like:
- What has drawn you to apply in London for an articling student position?
- What has drawn you to apply to Harrison Pensa?
- Where do you see yourself practising after articling? In 10 years?
- What areas of law have drawn your interest up to now?
- What questions about the firm or our programs do you have?